Latte vs. Mocha: What Is the Difference Between Latte and Mocha?

Latte vs. Mocha

Ever been to a coffee house and got confused by the different coffee-based drinks? You are not alone. Many people find themselves confused and sometimes embarrassed when they visit coffee houses simply because they cannot tell the difference between the various coffee-based drinks.

We know how embarrassing it can be even to ask the barista for help. That is why we have prepared this guide. For today you will learn the difference between latte and mocha. Later, we will have another guide that detailed on all espresso-based drinks. So, make sure to check back later for the new detailed guide.

Ready to learn more?  Let’s get started.

latte vs mocha

Latte and Mocha: What are the differences between the two?

Latte and mocha share several similarities. For example, both are made from espresso and steamed milk. So how do they differ?

Latte is made of espresso, steamed milk, and milk foam. On the other hand, mocha is made of espresso, a bit of steamed milk, foamy milk on top, and chocolate. In other words, mocha is simply latte with chocolate added.

As you can see, chocolate and the amount of steamed milk used are the two main differences. We can further say, a latte is suitable for individuals who prefer a more diluted version of the standard espresso. For those who prefer sweeter coffee, mocha is the right choice.

What goes into a latte?

First, latte or caffe latte is a traditional espresso-based Italian coffee drink that consists of steamed milk and espresso plus a dash of foamy milk on top of the course. While in most parts of the world, caffe latte is simply latte, some regions like northern Europe, a latte is known as café au lait.

Basically, a latte is made up of about 1/6 espresso, 4/6 steamed milk, and 1/6 foamed milk. Different syrups and flavoring can be added to get a more delicious cup of coffee. The frothed milk layer allows baristas to add their own touch with beautiful artwork or drawings across the foam.



Latte recipe

You need a number of ingredients to prepare a latte. Here are the ingredients:

  • One or two shots of espresso (1 shot = 1 oz)
  • Around 5 to 6 oz. steamed milk (around 5-6 oz.)
  • Top up the cup with a thin layer of frothed milk.
  • Add flavorings as desired.

Note that standard latte is prepared in an 8 oz. cup.

Best way to prepare a latte?

To prepare a perfect cup of latte, consider buying a latte machine. Luckily there are many of them in the market today.

So, what is mocha?



Let’s get into it a little deeper.

Mocha coffee gets its name from the type of coffee beans that are used to make it. Those beans are named after their place of origin in Yemen. 

Naturally, mocha coffee beans have a natural chocolate flavor, but baristas add a small amount o chocolate to enhance the chocolate flavor. The resulting brew is much stronger, in fact, stronger than a cappuccino. If you compare latte and mocha, a latte is a light drink and mocha stronger.

Mocha coffee recipe

  • Two espresso shots
  • 2 oz hot chocolate
  • 1 oz steamed milk
  • Optional, a thin frothed milk top layer


Note that you can take your mocha a step further by adding a hint of booze. The Italian way to booze mocha is with a shot of Sambuca. You can also add Baileys Cream, Cognac, Metaxa, or coffee liqueur.

Milk for mocha and latte

We have said it before, and we shall repeat, both mocha and latte have frothed and/or steamed milk. Now to create frothed or steamed milk, use a milk frothing device or use the steam wand on an espresso machine.

Difference between steamed and frothed milk

frothed milk vs steam milk

The amount of air bubbles they contain is what differentiates the two. Steamed milk is less foamed (with an increase of about 1/3). Frothed milk is more foamed (its volume is doubled by the air bubble added).

How is steamed milk created?

steam milk

Creating steamed milk is simple. Just place the steam wand about one inch into your cold milk, position it at an angle so that steam creates a whirlpool effect. Then keep steaming until your milk reaches between 1450F and 1550F.

How to make frothed milk?

frothed milk

Follow the same steps you used when created steamed milk. But once your milk starts to foam on the surface, move the wand slowly down through the milk until it reaches the bottom of the cup. Now, as the froth forms, the milk volume expands.

Note. Whether you are making frothed or steamed milk, remember to heat the milk on a medium temperature to avoid burning the milk.

Which is the clear winner?

As the saying goes that once man’s meat is another man’s poison, it is actually very challenging to pick latte or mocha as the clear winner. Both are excellent brew, and it all depends on the kind of experience you are after.

If you are looking for a brew that will give you the full-strength of coffee hit and that is creamier and milky, go for a latte. But if looking for a beverage that is more potent and stronger with dark chocolate undertones, go for mocha. This is because mocha is more concentrated, and a latte is more diluted.


Both mocha and latte are excellent espresso coffee. They are quite identical and always leave you in better moods. Which one would you like to try first? Latte or mocha? Both are great and will never disappoint. You can start with any and remember to share your experience in the comment section below.


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